In 2012, on Thunderbird, I used an add-on to create an address list by extracting all recipients found in emails folders. But, I have reinstalled everything, and I do not remember how I did it...

Similar questions have no satisfactory answer:

And nothing found on Zindus and Google Contacts...

How can I create an address list (mailing) from email recipients?

  • The solution should be GMail compliant.
  • The solution may be based on Thunderbird.

3 Answers 3


I was successful with simple copy and paste:

  • Opened source of mail which I wanted to us as mailing list template
  • Copied To: and CC: headers from source (Ctrl+U)
  • Created new mailing list in the address book, pasting all addresses comma-separated in the first line of the members list.

I had to clean out double entries in one case. But that's in any case better than dragging together the list one by one.

(below added by benjaoming)

To clean up UTF-8 headers in the TO and CC fields, do the following:

  1. Open a command line
  2. Type pythonEnter.  Then do the following commands:

    from email.header import decode_header
    print u" ".join(x[0].decode("utf-8") for x in decode_header(u"""PASTE YOUR HEADER CONTENTS HERE"""))

This will output text that's copy-paste friendly for Thunderbird's list editor

  • Excellent, I didn't think of this. This should be the accepted answer.
    – gozzilli
    Feb 24, 2014 at 15:25
  • I encounter problems with UTF-8 formatted TO: headers... editing this answer to show the steps...
    – benjaoming
    Oct 29, 2015 at 13:08

After some research I found back how I did last year: I used EMail Address Crawler (a very old Thunderbird add-on).

  • open the context menu on an folder (of emails)
  • select Crawl folder for email addresses
  • choose the destination mailing list (or create new one)
  • choose some options, click OK
  • then the add-on extracts email addresses from the folder emails content

But, EMail Address Crawler v3 is not compatible with recent Thunderbird. Therefore, in order to force install, disable extensions.checkCompatibility in the about:config or simply use Disable Add-on Compatibility Checks.

However, my Thunderbird 17.0.5 is too recent and even disabling compatibility check, I cannot use EMail Address Crawler, the folder context menu just open the contact addresses dialogue box, no more!

Otherwise, there is another alternative: CrowdMailer, a basic (and old) Thunderbird add-on. Copy-paste the email source code into the CrowdMailer dialogue box. Then CrowdMailer extracts the email addresses and proposes to create a new email filled with these extracted addresses. But I did not found a way to save these addresses within a mailing list...


I was able to clean up a list of email addresses, listed one-per-line by Gmail, in Notepad++ so that it would be accepted in the contact entry field for a Gmail contact group:

  1. Convert text to ANSI.
  2. Remove any quoted email addresses used as placeholders for names with a RE search for ^"[^"]+ and replace with empty string.
  3. Remove names before email addresses with a RE search for ^[^<]* and replace with empty string.
  4. Join all lines (Notepad++ Line Operations.)
  • Why do you need to convert text to ANSI?
    – oHo
    Apr 26, 2017 at 11:47

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